Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 27 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Simeon Sylites

A deacon ministering to troubled youths: ‘My alb is my shield’

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/30/16

An inspiring profile of a young deacon (headed toward the priesthood) in Mexico:

On the troubled fringes of the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, an aspiring Catholic priest is using his faith to reach out to young gang members and at-risk youth and bring them into his “Gang of Christ.” Less than 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the U.S. border, Monterrey is a wealthy city of corporate trailblazers. But violence is never far away on the outskirts, where bricklayers and factory workers walk poorly lit streets to reach simple cinder-block homes. Jose Luis Guerra, 34, also walks those pathways, searching for young gang members who might listen to his message. It is a risky vocation: although violence in Monterrey has fallen from the bloody peaks of 2011, an unknown man pacing the streets after dark still risks being seen as a threat. “My alba is my shield,” Guerra says, referring to his white religious robes. Sometimes seen in his Superman-logo baseball cap, Guerra is a deacon, and will be ordained as a priest in mid-August. Guerra bumps fists with the young boys and girls he meets, and when he talks to them, he sounds more like a psychologist than a priest. Given to cracking jokes, he says of his considerable girth: “It just means that I am full of love.”

Read more.

Photo: Daniel Becerril/Reuters

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
Sarah Robsdottir
What we can learn from Elon Musk’s housing decisions
See More